The Celtics started off just fine on Friday against the Bucks, getting out to a 13-point lead after the first quarter and extending it to 16 points by halftime.
It all came crashing down in the final period, however, when Milwaukee outscored Boston 34-15 to come away with the victory and send the Celtics to 0-2 on the young season.
Boston is expected to be bad this year, after trading Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Nets for rebuilding pieces and aging veterans with bad contracts.
Gerald Wallace falls into the latter category, and apparently he didn’t get the memo that this would be a very long year in terms of wins and losses. Wallace ripped his teammates following the loss, claiming they were more concerned with getting their individual numbers than they were interested in helping the team win.
“We got selfish,” he said after the Celtics blew a 22-point lead in a 105-98 loss to the Bucks. “We got selfish as a team. Instead of worrying about winning the ballgame, we were more worried about our stats, getting points. It showed. We went from a team that was together and moving and playing together in the first half to a team that was five individuals out on the court, everybody playing for themselves, and it showed on the defensive end.”
And who might be the stat-padding offenders?
“I don’t have a clue,” said Wallace. “You’ve got to ask everybody individually. I don’t know. I don’t even really understand it. I’m trying to figure out what’s more important, winning or padding your stats, because this was a game that we were supposed to win easy without even the starters playing in the fourth quarter. Instead, we got selfish as a team. We didn’t move the ball, we let the ball stick, we stopped pushing the ball, and their second unit came in and manhandled us and did whatever they wanted to do.”
A quick look at the second half box score makes it clear that Wallace was talking about his guards. As a team, the Celtics had just two assists on 33 field goal attempts over the final two periods.
Wallace has been hard on his new teammates previously during the preseason, and this is the second time he’s specifically used the word “selfish” to describe them.
A bright spot for Boston was the play of starting center Vitor Faverani, who finished with 18 rebounds and six blocked shots. But we’re guessing that the effort required to put up those kinds of individual numbers isn’t what Wallace was talking about.